- 12 individual Pork Spare Ribs – trimmed off excess fat and back-membrane, cut to about 3 inches long.
- Sliced Ginger, smashed Garlic, Dried Chilli, coarsely grounded White Peppercorn, one Star anise, a tiny stick of Cinnamon and Dong Quai bits/slice (Angelica sinensis). These next three ingredients all soak in warm water:- Yuk Chuk (Solomon’s Seal Rhizome), Kei Zi (Wolfberries) and Red Dates (not in pict.).
- Not in the picture – Ur normal kitchen flavoring ingredients – Salt, Sugar, White pepper, Five-spice powder (optional), Sesame oil, Oyster Sauce, Light soy, Dark Soy (just for coloring), Shaoxing wine. All to taste. (** Note : Just a dash of everything; if U prefer a stronger flavor of a certain ingredient, simply add a little extra of that ingredient (no rocket scientific measurement here). Always taste your Seasoning !!!
Side Condiment :
- Potatoes – cut into blocks. White Radish/Daikon would be better.
- Soaked Dry Shiitake mushrooms – destemmed (halved if too big). Keep the Stem and braise together with the Ribs (pack with flavors – simply discard them when serve). Retained the second-round of the soaking water of the Mushrooms – use it for the braising.
The Potatoes and Mushroom will soften way before the Ribs. So, take them out (with some sauce) when they are soft and set aside before continuing the braising and caramelizing the sauce. Simply reheat them and plate it together with the caramelized Ribs when ready to serve. Both these condiments are perfect for the dish because they absorb the sauce really well and provide an additional texture dimension to the Ribs.
Marinate the Ribs with all the Marinating ingredients excluding the Star Anise, Cinnamon Stick, coarsely grounded White Peppercorn and Dong Quai bits/slice (Angelica sinensis). Mix well and marinate over-night.
Make sure the Ribs is at room temperature (out of the fridge for at least 1 hr) before braising. Brown the Ribs properly (all sides) in high heat. Set aside. With the same Pan, saute the Star Anise, Cinnamon Stick and coarsely grounded White Peppercorn till aromatic. Add the Ribs, Potatoes, Mushroom (plus the mushroom stem) and Dong Quai bits/slice (Angelica sinensis). Add the mushroom soaking water, just enough to cover everything. Bring to boil in high heat. Then lower the heat and braise for abt 2 hours or till the ribs are soft and tender. The Potatoes and Mushroom will soften way before the Ribs. So, take them out (with some sauce) before they get too soft – after abt 30 mins of braising. Discard the Mushroom stem, Anise and Cinnamon stick. Continue to braise (without the cover) in high heat to start the caramelizing process. Gently (don’t break the meat) turn and flip the Ribs with a Tong, making sure they are well coated with the sticky sauce. Plate together with the Potatoes and Mushroom and serve hot.